The Karakum Desert is a vast arid land expanse located in Central Asia mainly situated in Turkmenistan covering more than 80% of this country

Medieval monument preserved in Turkmenistan – architectural complex Istmamut-ata

One of the well-preserved monuments of the Middle Ages is the architectural complex of Istmamut-ata, located on the territory of the Gorogly etrap of the Dashoguz velayat.

According to the opinion of  scientists, it was built on the ruins of a village or fortress X-XI centuries Eshretkala. Its structure has evolved over the years, overgrown with annexes belonging to different time periods.

The oldest and most popular among tourists fragment of the building is Dashkeche – stone street, which is a long corridor, covered by seven domes and located below the level of other buildings. Today, this building, created by medieval architects, is the only indoor gallery in the north of the country, accessible to a wide range of tourists and pilgrims.

It is worth going down a wide stone staircase, along which ancient tombstones are located, as you fall into another historical dimension. In the long corridor, the floor of which is paved with stone slabs, the spirit of the centuries seems to be in the air. All along the way to the mausoleum, which ends Dashkeche, there are bays in the walls that repeat the outlines of the corridor’s vault, and the lower parts resemble benches for a short rest or waiting.

It creates a sense of presence not in a religious building, but in the reception yard of a medieval fortress or a rich residence, and the gallery emphasizes the greatness and facilities, and its owner. It seems that on the benches in numerous bays await admission richly dressed strangers, weary messengers, local nobility and merchants, and brave guards lined up along the walls with spears and shields in their hands.

Who knows, maybe this version deserves attention, but so far it is only

known that the two-chamber mausoleum, in one of the rooms of which the tomb of Istmamut-ata is located, was erected in the Middle Ages. In another room is located “Gurhana” – a room for reading the Koran.

According to opinion of experts, all other buildings of the architectural complex are much younger than the mausoleum. Including the second corridor with bays in the wall and brick-tiled graves adjoining Dashkeche. It leads to a winter mosque with a dome and four cells in the corners, which served as the abode for pilgrims. From the west, a summer one with two carved wooden columns adjoins the winter mosque. There is also a room for meals – ashhana and a hotel with a courtyard, called hanaka-mikhmanhana.

According to one of the versions, the origin of the name “Ysmamut-ata” is associated with the name of an outstanding poet and thinker who lived in 1247-1326, a feast, and an unsurpassed hero-wrestler Makhmut Palvan. According to some historians, Mahmut Palvan had his own hanaka, a house with a mosque and cells.

According to the documentary sources, Mahmut Palvan was known as Pahlavan Mahmut, Palvan Pir, Hezreti Palvan, Palvan Ata, Piryarveli, Ysmamyt Ata.

His magnificent rubai, glorifying the beauty of the native land, moral purity and wealth of the spiritual world of the Turkmen, were highly praised in the works of Alisher Navoi, Abdyrakhman Jami, Fahreddin Ali Safi and others.

The presence of such architectural structures on the territory of Turkmenistan undoubtedly testifies to the high level of development of the building art and crafts of our ancestors, who built magnificent palaces and cities, huge strong fortresses and caravan-sarays, mosques and medrese, other architectural creations that cause genuine admiration and respect . The inclusion of some of these masterpieces of Oriental architecture on the UNESCO World Heritage List confirms the international recognition of their invaluable contribution to the history of world civilization.